#LeanInToRelationships is not only a diary of what he saw but also what he experienced. Cities have a unique charm and each traveller perceives it differently. For the author, this book has been a revelation of his own mind, thoughts and how his relations changed and grew. A travelogue, an introspective journey that is insightful as it is varied. The author has covered so many beautiful places and layers of feelings and emotions that one needs to stop and analyse the thoughts at times.
The visual treats with the descriptions of the places he visited as the author writes about them make it an interesting read. I was eager to know about all the places he visited on his trip. To stop, savor and introspect our actions makes each experience more alive.
“Everything that we see, hear or feel, has layers, dimensions through which we can learn, grow and emerge anew. One doesn’t have to go to a meditation boot camp or intensive therapy sessions. Just sit amazed. Sit in delight. Sit easy. Let time flow. You sit.”
The only issue I faced with the book is its editing and grammatical errors that stop this books from leaving a solid impact on the reader. The thoughts, ideas, and depth of the story are excellent sans the errors.
The book talks about love, the path of love is never easy but not all love stories have happy endings. I asked the author about his travel and writing and how he manages the two. Read about it here.
Many just make us a better person. Zehen too has a lesson for himself in this book. Our mind is our strongest ally but it is also the one that plays tricks on us. The love story of Zehen and Maheeda reminded me of how our thoughts can influence our lives. No wonder, positive thinking is so powerful. Zehen also realises the error of his thoughts when it is too late and cannot bring back Maheeda into his life. Their love is an ephemeral one but it leaves its mark.
The book has closure for Zehen in his acceptance and awareness. The conversations he has with his friends are his way of understanding what he did wrong and how is he changing and growing into a better person. The author has seamlessly woven his travels with his relationships. #LeanInToRelationships reads like an emotional journey, a travelogue that concentrates on the spiritual and emotional awareness.
“It is simply a larger view of the small love dramas of our life.”
Lean In To Relationships is exactly what the title conveys but uses travel as a medium for his thoughts. Our relationships, the good, solid ones, the best ones, the kind we can fall back upon are those that are our safety net. This is an honest and introspective book to be read and ruminated upon.
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LEAN IN TO RELATIONSHIPS
Doubt has pivoted many a relationship across the centuries. Whether it is Othello suspicious of Desdemona or through the rise of paranoia as a trope in twentieth century writings. While paranoia naturally suggests the vulnerability of individual mind to social rhetoric, it is also the space for deep interrogation of the individual that renders him/her to paranoia. This novel presents that doubt has the potential to be a space of liberation.
Madeeha works in Jordan to rehabilitate Syrian refugees. Zehen, a political analyst from India, meets her in the US during their social impact program. He is intrigued and charmed by her, and falls deeply in love. But the world political climate, with its accompanying cultural narratives about terror and pain, infects Zehen’s mind. Zehen begins to suspect Madeeha as a possible mujahid. Will he find his truth? Fear doesn’t devastate; it stirs the inner pot.
The novel uses Sufi philosophical terms to mark the journey to self-love and explores the tensions between Ishq-e- Mazizi (worldly love)and Ishq-e- Haqiqi (love for Divine). The novel uses the backdrops of various cities around the world to build its narratives – Cusco andLima in Peru, Petra/Aqaba/Amman/Jerash in Jordan, New York/Philadelphia/DC/Chicago/
It is a tender love story that triumphs heartbreaks and sets the foundation of deep lasting future relationships – a delightful emancipation from social intrigues and cultural constraints.
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Read an excerpt of #LeanInToRelationships here:
Zehen was experiencing sweet joy in his heart. Memories bustled in the head. When did he first see her? Zehen searched his head madly. Orientation session? Corridor to the classroom? However, he tried, he couldn’t pinpoint the moment. A whirr of images, of moments, yet-to- be collaged. And a heart that already had a narrative, waiting to be inset.
About the author
I was born into poverty. At the time of my birth, my parents shared a one -room hut with six other family members in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Delhi.
When I was 24 years old, I had everything that makes one happy – loving parents, great partner, close-knit group of friends, and career path that exceeded every goal. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t sad either; but it never felt like my life. I had carefully and meticulously built that life though. Contextually, it was the safe thing to do.
Following year though, I had to deal with the loss of my 7¬year old relationship and of my 5¬year old job. My identity was crushed. My biggest lesson was that you can fail at what you don’t want, and what you consider safe; you might as well take a chance at what you truly want.
I started a political consulting company to maneuver social ascendance of marginalized communities by equalizing access to political capital. I primarily did topical research for MPs for their debates in the parliament and on TV shows. Partial project list includes:
• Providing 108 rape survivors with medical, legal, financial, and social support over six months through one of my client’s NGO
• Getting amendments passed in the communal violence bill that tackle systemic bias towards Muslims
• Helping three social entrepreneurs raise a combined total of INR 43 lakhs from their MP for community initiatives